Knees are complex joint structures that are subject to several different types of pain causes. Surgical interventions are dangerous, require prolonged recovery, and are rarely effective. Dr. Otten explains how and why knee pain occurs, and how to treat it without exposing yourself to significant risks.
The knee is one of the more complicated joints in the body, and we see knee pain all the time in our practice.
Knee pain can be classified as sub-acute, acute and chronic:
- Sub-acute means it’s been there for more than 3 or 4 months
- Acute means the knee has been injured acutely and hurts immediately afterwards
- Chronic pain is the pain that lasts more than 6 months.
Sharp, Immediate (Acute) Knee Pain
Acute pain is often from a partially torn ligament or tendon, or injury to their articular cartilage. There are many different techniques that can be utilized to help stimulate the body to heal itself faster and recover better.
“Often times, your body needs a little help to stimulate the healing process in the setting of an acute injury. We offer PRP, stem cells and other modalities—such as exosomes or alpha 2 macroglobulin—to expedite the healing process. Specifically, at CELLAXYS, we have options to help you heal faster, and expedite the healing process,” Dr. Otten says.
Sub-acute Knee Pain
Sub-acute knee pain—which is pain that’s lasted for more than 3-4 months—tends to be an injury that hasn’t healed properly.
“I kind of describe it as the boy who used to cry “wolf”. Basically, your body has cried “wolf” too many times (and received no response), so it’s not going to bother to heal itself anymore. It needs a little push to initiate that healing response again,” Dr. Otten offers an analogy.
Platelet Rich Plasma therapy, or the actual concentration of platelets, reinjected into injured tissue, can have an excellent response in stimulating your body to heal itself again. They give that little push to initiate your body’s healing response once again.
“Stem cells act a little bit differently. What we do is we transplant the stem cells into the location of injury that we’ve been to identify to allow for the healing process.
Basically, these cells can turn into something called conjure sites, which is the cartilage cells, temocites, which is the tendon cells, or many other cells that are injured in your body—in this case, specifically in your knee,” the physician explains.
Chronic, Repetitive Knee Pain
Chronic knee pain is typically the arthritic pain in most patients. However, if you’re younger, and you have chronic knee pain, it’s often from something different—most likely an injury that hasn’t healed properly. This can involve a wide array of complications.
The most common injury that causes chronic knee pain is the articular cartilage injury, or the degradation of your articular cartilage:
“The articular cartilage is basically a sheet of ice on a pavement. If you think of the pavement as the bone, and the sheet of ice on top of that as the cartilage, when you drive your car over it, it slides and glides on that sheet of ice.”
Over the course of time, that sheet of ice thins out, and thin potholes begin to form in it. That is what creates chronic pain in the knees.
“The stimulation of articular cartilage regrowth is absolutely pivotal in reduction of knee pain. If you have been suffering from chronic knee pain, and there aren’t really too many options available to you outside of cortisone, surgery, hyaluronic acids, physical therapy or bracing, we do have options for you
We have stem cell therapies, as well as platelet rich plasma therapies (PRP), both of which have been well-studied outside the United States. And, now, currently, in the last 7 years, within the United States as viable options to improve your pain and function,” Dr. Otten explains.
Naturally Regenerative Orthobiologic Solutions to Knee Pain
“In our clinic, we see a wide array of pain causes, ranging from young, injury related pain to older, chronic knee pain. We have a multitude of options for you with regards to therapies that are available,” lead physician says.
In chronic patients with knee pain, it’s important to look at the whole issue—both above and below the joint. It’s also important to look at specifically what is injured in the knee itself. Is there medial collateral instability? Is there cartilage damage within the knee? A multitude of different scenarios needs to be considered before making a treatment decision.
“Because chronic knee pain is a complex issue with multiple small or large injuries possible, at CELLAXYS we use both live X-ray—known as fluoroscopy—with the utilisation of ultrasound to inject into various locations within your knee during the procedure.
At CELLAXYS, during our procedures for chronic knee pain, we design a protocol specifically for you. We use ultrasound and fluoroscopy to inject into appropriate locations and have the best benefit,” Dr. Otten gives insight on the procedures.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It’s important to treat the knee globally, not just focus on the one singular problem that we’ve identified. We tailor our treatment therapies to your problem.